Thailand 2020

Ages: 16+   •  Location: Thailand   •   Length: 12 Days
$2895.00 + Self Managed Airfare  •   Service Hours: 40
Meeting Point: Chang Mai

While in Thailand, you will have the opportunity to be a tangible part of making a difference in the lives of children that need a future that is free of the pain that many of them have experienced. We will work with a children's home in Chiang Saen called Buddies Along the Roadside. Most of the children who reside there have been rescued out of very exploitative situations. Our team will be working daily at their compound doing home improvements, organizing summer camp activities and experiencing field trips with the children. We will work alongside their staff and learn from them as they teach us about their culture and how they care for vulnerable people. We will also have the opportunity to spend time at their street drop in center at the Myanmar border.

Live Different has been supporting and working with Buddies Along the Roadside since 2007. Together we have helped to construct homes, an office and clinic space, worked on their water treatment center, improved their garden space and helped to build a safe playground for the children. 

"I really hope you will choose to join us on our Thailand 2020 Build - it will change you in so many ways! I have been honoured to be able to lead our teams and work alongside some amazing volunteers on the ground in Thailand. They are incredible people and they have taught us so much about hope and about making your life count for much more than you ever thought it could. Each one of our Thailand Builds are unique and full of adventures, but one thing is certain: A Thailand Build is full of lots of laughter, memories, and love. You will leave this trip with an understanding of how exploitation happens and how you can be a part of the solution. I hope you will join us in 2020. Your life will never be the same!" ~ Brett Dyrland, Thailand Trip Host

Thank you for your interest in Live Different Builds! Please read through all the following information and feel free to contact me at anytime if you have any questions.

Austin Gauthier - Programs Administrator

Minimum Fundraising Requirements:

  • *Must be 16 years old or older to participate on this Build.
  • $2,895 - This is the minimum amount each volunteer has been asked to fund raise/contribute in order to join this Live Different Build, with $300 due within 2 weeks of registration.
  • $2,595  - Balance due 6 weeks before this Build starts. Please contact Live Different if you have any questions or concerns about this deadline. 

Please note: This Build requires a minimum of 12 volunteers and we are accepting applications until October 31st, 2019.  As soon as we have the minimum number of applications, acceptances will be sent. To secure your spot, please apply as soon as possible. Once your application is received, Austin will be in touch! Also, please note that we will continue accepting registrations after the application deadline if we've reached the minimum number prior.

**If you are planning a personal vacation in SE Asia, please plan for your stay to be after your Build experience.**

What Is Included
  • All transportation needs during the Build days.
  • All accommodations during the Build days.
  • All meals during the Build days.
  • Translators 
  • Donations towards building projects.
  • Local contractors to work along side the teams and help facilitate the work being done.
  • General hosting, supervision, debriefing sessions and evening activities and a fun day with the children!
What Is Not Included
  • Flights to and from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • ​Airport shuttles to and from ​the hotel if arriving before the trip starts or leaving after the Build ends.
  • Entrance or Visa while entering or exiting Thailand.
  • Emergency Travel Medical Insurance (Required).
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance.

Please Note: Live Different is not responsible for flight delays or cancellations. 


Day 1

-Team to meet in Chiang Mai (CNX). A staff member will meet you as you leave security and bring you to our accommodations in Chiang Mai.

-Orientation and meet your team.

Day 2

-Drive to Chiang Saen in the morning and meet the staff and children at Buddies Along the Roadside.

-Spend the afternoon getting to know the children and experience their warm welcome!

Day 3 - 9

During these days we will be participating in the following activities:

-Awareness tour, which will include the Hall of Opium, in introduction to the Golden Triangle and a history of the area.

-Building Projects: In the past, Live Different has helped to fund and work on a water treatment facility, a staff office building, rebuild the main kitchen, a greenhouse and also provided a sound system for the home to do presentations in markets. Details of this Build's project will be shared approximately 6 weeks before departure.

-Hang out with the children! There are about 90 children currently living in the home. They range in age from 3-19, and most have been rescued from many different forms of exploitation and abuse. Together, we have visited elephant sanctuaries, swam in natural pools in the mountains, hunted for Easter eggs, played games and sang songs, and experienced much laughter and tears.

-English and Summer Camps: English is a widely used language in Thailand, and knowledge of English helps to equip these children with a wider range of education and job opportunities. We have also helped with an arts training camp for painting, photography, videography and storytelling. Please come prepared with a willingness to have fun with English, and with possible activity ideas! 

-Visit Drop-In Centre on the Myanmar border. Meet some of the families whose lives have been changed by the projects, hear their stories and meet the people who work directly with children who are currently living on the streets. There is also a safe international shopping area across the border in Myanmar, and if our participants choose to experience it, they will receive a day visa and be allowed to cross the bridge into the shopping district in Tachileik, Myanmar. (The trip to Myanmar is not a mandatory event, and volunteers under the age of 18 must have permission to join from a parent/guardian.)

Day 10

-Drive to Chiang Mai

-Final Debriefing

-Visit the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Day 11

-Excursion Day in Chiang Mai to visit the Doi Suthep temple high in the mountains and experience the Chiang Mai Sunday Night Market

Day 12

-Please arrange for flights back to Canada on this day.

We do not usually book hotels until we are closer to the date of the build, but typically we will stay at Imm hotel in Chiang Mai and hotels similar to the Siam Triangle hotel or the Serene Hotel up in Chiang Saen. Once the hotels have been booked, we will let you know where we will be staying.

Most volunteers choose to fundraise using their fundraising page. When you register for a Build, you will have the opportunity to create one too. Not everyone fundraises though, some choose to pay for their Build themselves.

We require that all volunteers arrange their own flights. If you need any help or advice, feel free to contact our office. Please be sure that you are arriving at the destination on the first day of the Build, as some flights will require you to leave a day or two ahead of schedule.

We will provide all of the building supplies, but we do ask that you bring your own work gloves (two pairs), have proper footwear (such as work boots or running shoes) and a hat. A specific packing list will be provided for each trip.

When we host volunteers in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti and Thailand, we are always amazed at the generous hearts of those who come to work with us. Many volunteers bring donations with them in hopes of being able to give them directly to those they meet on their trip. After years of working in various communities and countries, we have unfortunately seen this create many problems.

Instead, we want to inform and inspire our volunteers with the many valuable ways that Live Different already has in place to enable them to make a contribution to the communities we work in. Learn more about how Live Different handles aid and donations.

If you hold a Canadian passport, you do not need a travel visa to participate in a Live Different Build. If you hold a passport from another country, it is your responsibility to ensure you have met all of the requirements for entry into the country you are visiting, and for some countries this may include a visitor’s visa.
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Apr 9, 2020 - Apr 20, 2020



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    Austin Gauthier
    (866) 432 4464